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tv   First Business  KICU  March 13, 2013 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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market momentum: trader strategies as stocks stride higher. in today's cover story, dueling budget plans: both sides of the aisle promote ideas to solve the nation's debt crisis. plus, what the pope has in common with corporate ceos. and, a sugar high: why companies are quick to play on america's sweet tooth. first business starts now. you're watching first business: financial news, analysis, and today's investment ideas. good morning. it's wednesday, march 13th. i'm angela miles. in today's first look: stocks are still on a record roll. there was some sell-off along the way, but at the end of the day, the dow eeked out a record close. the nasdaq and s&p 500 staged a mild sell-off. gold gained 14 dollars, while oil moved up 56 cents.
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dreamliners are closer to take- off. the faa said yes to boeing's battery redesign. it's considered the first step to getting 787s ready for lift- off. boeing also reportedly has an $18-billion deal in the works to sell jets to ryanair. and ahead of government data on oil, the american petroleum institute is noting a surprising drop in crude supples. crude declined by over 1.4 million barrels. analysts expected an increase of 2.3 million. larry shover of sfg alternatives joins us on this wednesday for a closer look at the market. good morning to you, and the dow is still going, larry. > > it is unbelievable. traders are so anxious right now they just can't believe it continues to climb higher. > what do you make of the bond market at this point? do you expect to see some sort of grand rotation where all of a sudden stocks start to falter and money starts to go back into the bond market? > > you know, on a macro scale, i think there is a little bit more room to the wall of worry
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that we are climbing. not to say that there won't be setbacks in the stock market, because i think there will be very soon. i think long-term, though, meaning the next two to three years, i still think there is room for the market to climb higher at the expense of the bond market. > what are some of your market moves, especially in light of corporations holding nearly a record amount of cash on balance sheets here? > > i think right now, i look at financials and materials, because some do pay dividends, which is wonderful, but also the tailwind that we are seeing and continue to see with the housing recovery and the consumer effect that comes as a result of that. so, those are two areas i continue to like, and try to buy them on dips - we saw a dip yesterday in the home- builders. a great time to add exposure. > what do you make of the last- minute buying sprees that we are seeing in the market? we get to the close and all of a sudden people step in and start to buy more stocks. what is that telling you? > > we have had this buy-dip mentality for months now. i think people are now so afraid to miss out on the next leg up,
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that at any kind of weakness they are buying into that. we didn't see that all day yesterday until the very end, as you mentioned. but it did happen once again. > thank you larry. > > you're welcome. the stage is set for yet another fiscal fight in washington. this time, republicans and democrats will be battling over the budget. and if you feel like you've seen and heard all this bickering before, well, that's because you have. "we've seen this before. it's deja vu all over again." senate majority leader harry reid summed up neatly the next debate on the role of government when addressing tuesday's release of house republican paul ryan's budget. called the path to prosperity, as it was when he first unveiled it, wearing nearly the same suit and tie back in 2011, ryan's plan seeks to reduce taxes and cut government spending. "when they talk about a cut, they're talking about reducing the rate of growth. and that's all ryan's plan will do. i think it's too weak. i think it's not good enough."
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author of "the free market revolution," yaron brook's criticism of the ryan plan is one you may not have heard before. it is far more likely that you've already listened to a version of this attack from the left. "the ryan plan will shower more tax breaks on millionaires and tilt the playing field to the advantage of big corporate interests" ryan's plan would cut the top tax bracket from 39 to 25 percent and would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent. it also seeks to slash spending on entitlements like medicare, medicaid and social security in an effort to balance the budget. this republican plan will no doubt set off a new round of petty partisanship in washington, but it's unlikely that democrats will pick up on this new line of attack. "i can promise you it doesn't cut enough to make me happy. and it doesn't reform entitlements enough to make me happy." senate democrats will unveil their budget plan today, with a reported $975 billion in spending cuts coupled with
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nearly $1 trillion in new revenue, according to the wall street journal. the white house plans to release president obama's budget proposal in the second week of april. meanwhile, in mo-town, detroit city officials are making a plea to the governor. governor rick snyder recently declared the motor city was in a financial crisis and needs an emergency financial manager. some detroit city officials are sending a message to the governor they prefer sticking with a modified fix-it plan already in place. the detroit free press reports attorney kevyn orr, who managed chrysler's bankruptcy restructering, is the governor's top pick as financial manager. former gop presidential candidate mitt romney is also rumored as a possibility. the government continues to sell off its stake in gm. unfortunately, uncle sam took a loss on the latest trade. according to bloomberg news, the treasury sold 18 million shares when the stock traded between 26 and 28 dollars last
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month, collecting nearly a half- billion dollars in the process. all told, the government has recovered $29 billion of its $49-billion investment. the irs says h&r block is responsible for the delay of 600,000 refunds. marketwatch reports the nation's largest tax preparer failed to correctly fill out a form used to claim educational credits. people who filed thru h&r block may have to wait an extra six weeks for a refund. h&r block is working with the irs to correct the errors. credit reporting agency equifax is investigating a high-profile hack attack. equifax says it is searching for answers after hackers accessed the credit reports of some very famous faces. the justice department says that personal and credit information for michelle obama, beyonce, vice president joe biden, and ashton kutcher, among others, has been leaked online. experian and transunion also admitted to security
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breaches. the secret service calls the investigation ongoing and declined further comment. mary jo white, president obama's choice to lead the sec, is facing some tough questioning this week from some u.s. senators. a long-time defender of some of wall street's leading financial firms, critics have expressed concern that she is too much of an insider to police her former clients. white told the senate banking committee that she would be "bold and unrelenting" in her enforcement of wall street. jc penney is standing by its ceo. the stock traded higher yesterday on rumors ceo ron johnson had plans to leave the company. jcp denyed the chatter, stating johnson has "no plans" to leave. the retailer has continued to struggle under the ceo, whose turnaround strategies have turned off shoppers. jcp ended the day up about 4%. costco is bulking up on profits. earnings last quarter jumped 39% on strong revenue
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growth. analysts say the warehouse club has performed well even as sales have been sliding at walmart and target. costco also had the advantage of a one-time tax break in connection with a special dividend the retailer gave to employees participating in the company 401k plan. the ultimate executive search continues inside the vatican walls, as the college of cardinals gathers to choose the next pope. "yes he very much is the top person. maybe more so than a ceo, given who his boss is." but unlike a new corporate chief, the pope can only come from a small pool of candidates: just the 115 cardinals electing the next pope are eligible, none of whom are women. "its kind of like the same weakness in japanese corporations and corporations in the muslim world, where women are not likely to be in a leadership role. when you cut off the talent pool of half the
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population, then that's when predictable things happen." stevens did add that shared core values among the cardinals can be a strength for the church leadership. u.s. news and world report is out with its list of top business schools. harvard and standford are tied for the top spot. pennsylvania's wharton school is 3rd. tied for 4th, massachusettes institute of technology sloan school and northwestern university kellogg. the booth school in chicago ranks 6th, followed by haas in berkeley, columbia university, dartmouth college tuck and stern at new york university. a new study suggests gender may affect the ability to get a home loan. the woodstock institute tracked the home application process in the chicagoland area and found that loan and refinancing applications were more likely to be approved if a man was listed first on the application. when women were listed as the primary borrower, they were 39% less likely to receive approval.
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apple may be running into tablet trouble. research firm idc reveals consumers are getting hip to tablets running on google's android platform. idc tells reuters shipments of ipads will fall to 46% of the market this year, while android devices will jump to 49% this year as google's nexus 7 tablet and amazon's kindle make inroads against the ipad and mini ipad. twinkies may be back on shelves by this summer. hostess filed a document in u.s. bankruptcy court that made it clear no other offers topped the initial $410-million bid from investment firms metropoulos and apollo global management. hostess had earlier hopes the bidding price would escalate. still to come, you better shop around: how car consumers are
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becoming more savy. that's later on. but first, the debate over soda sizes is taking shape in society. that's coming up next.
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tic brain injury is as serious as any battlefield injury the memory loss dizziness nightmares thankfully, the va has made important advancements in tbi so if you think you or a veteran you know has sustained a brain injury get screened
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the fda is issuing a warning about a popular antibiotic. azithromycin, also known as z- pack, is commonly used to treat bronchitis, pneumonia or ear infections. now, the fda has issued a warning that the drug could lead to irregular heartbeats in some pateints. the administration says while overall risk is low, doctors should be mindful of a patient's heart condition before prescribing the drug. b01 a ban on super-sized sodas and other sugary drinks in new york city is facing a setback. just as the new rule was supposed to
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go into effect, a judge blocked the ban. new york mayor michael bloomberg has spent months pushing for limits on large sugary drinks. here's what he had to say: "with high consumpation of full-sugar drinks, you have a much higher obesity rate, and it's much worse in poor neighborhoods." joining us now via skype, michael moss, a reporter with the new york times, and the author of "salt sugar fat: how the food giants got us hooked." michael, is this a minor or a major set-back for the mayor? > > i think for him it is a huge publicity coup on one level, because he has just cranked up the public discussion of this issue. and i have to say that reporting this book, for me, was like a detective story, being inside the soda industry. it is amazing how much effort they put into formulating and marketing their products to make them utterly irresistible. > what is likely to happen next
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in this instance? > > well, he says he is going to appeal, there will continue to be some court wrangling on this. other cities are looking at this as well, but, again, i think people are really paying attention and looking. look, the food industry is not an evil empire about to make us all obese or otherwise ill, but you have to understand where they are coming from: they are companies wanting to make as much money as possible, and they are doing it and they are relying heavily on salt, sugar, and fat. so, i am hoping this book is sort of a wake-up call both to the industry and to consumers in some real practical ways that we can get in and out of the grocery store with our health intact. > if this is an epidemic as you say, and if there is big money behind this pushing for us to eat more sugar, getting us hooked on that sugar, can the american public ever win in this case, or will big money win out? > > i think there is some hope even within the food companies. i was really impressed by officials within kraft, who
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years ago set out to do the right thing and launched an anti-obesity initiative that looked at changes in marketing, in labeling practices, and their formulations. the problem is whenever one company tries to do the right thing, the competitors will swoop in, and wall street will be there as well. so, i think it is going to take some public accountability where they are holding the companies accountable for things to really change. > and what about other people who say this is america and you can put anything on the marketplace you wish as long as it is within fda standards? > > i was struck by the judge's wording that he felt the bloomberg initiative was arbitrary and capricious, because there is nothing arbitrary about the processed food industry, and especially the soda industry's mission to get us to consume as much as possible. the playing field in the grocery store is anything
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but level. especially when you get to corner stores and their targeting of children, that is a huge issue for public health. > michael moss. thanks again for joining us. he is with the new york times. thank you. > > thank you. still ahead, if you think rising gas prices would slow auto sales, think again. how car consumers are shifting gears. that's next.
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car shoppers are out again in big numbers, kicking the tires and going on test drives. new fuel-efficient cars are getting a lot of the attention, but more important than the mpg number is the sticker price. ky sisson surveys the situation from los angeles. in los angeles, it's hard to find fuel for under four dollars, but febuary's high gas prices nationwide didn't damper car sales as automakers sold 1.19 million vehicles in february, a 3.7% increase from a year earlier. last month, gas prices rose to a national average of $3.78 for regular unleaded, fueling that need for a new, gas-friendly ride. "there are a lot of different fuel-efficient vehicles, whether it's diesel electric hybrids or plug-in hybrids, and people are exploring those options. we see people interested in those types of cars, especially as gas prices go up." but caldwell says despite the attraction of new fuel- efficient cars, customers are still price shopping, looking at all types of cars. the more
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important number to most consumers is not the mpg rating but what kind of bargain they can get. "a lot of people are coming in for the deal, so a lot of them really don't care about gas mileage." "people aren't necessarily changing their car segment choice. if they're gonna buy a truck, they're still gonna buy a truck." many of the hybrid models tend to be pricier than the standard engine, so some shoppers are deciding to take a lower monthly payment rather than a savings in fuel economy. "to me it makes more sense if i'm strapped for cash to get the standard model, not the hybrid, 'cause for me it would take a very long time to pay off the hybrid just on gas." the average age of a vehicle has reached 11 years old, according to polk, an automotive research firm; and as consumers see washington's wrangling over spending cuts, the uncertainty of what's ahead keeps some away from the showroom. but others are coming through the door ready to upgrade. "buying a vehicle in the future, it probably won't change anything for me. my only concern is probably gas prices." "a lot of people do need new cars despite what happens in washington. people still need to replace their cars." reporting for first business
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news, i'm ky sisson. still ahead, as gold futures hover around $1,600 an ounce, a stock play in the gold sector that is around $38 is coming up in chart talk.
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in chart talk this morning we are taking a closer look at gold in the charts. and alan knuckman of optionshop joins us with that. good morning to you alan. as the stock market has been rising, gold futures have not necessarily had the greatest performance. what do you see in the charts? > > looking at gold, i'm starting to see some positive indications that we are forming a bottom here. we've had a nice, healthy bounce with a series of higher lows over the last couple of weeks. we traded within the channel last week, we broke out to the upside. so if we get above $1,620 in gold, i think we are going to have a bottom in place. if you look at the highs from february to the lows, that is the midpoint that we need to overcome to confirm a bottom. > what would be your play for


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